All text copyright Stephen Coates 2006 - 2015

WILD GOOSE CHASE

I started this blog four years ago with an account of a visit I made to see the buried river Fleet far beneath the pavements of Clerkenwell. A lot has happened in the time since but I've remained fascinated by the city - both above and below ground. Here is a picture of the mouth of the river Effra which rises below St Marks church in Brixton and exits into the Thames on either side of Vauxhall bridge. It was taken at low tide when you can also see the mouth of the river Tyburn opposite and that of the river Westbourne farther up stream. There are various other out-falls along the northern bank reminding us that Westminster was once an island. The mouth of the Fleet is very difficult to see but it can be glimpsed from a westbound boat under Blackfriars bridge at low tide. The definitive work on the subject is Nicholas Barton's 'The Lost Rivers of London' and the incredible and intrepid guys at sub-urban have photographed many of the most dramatic underground waterways.

A friend asked me the other day what I would do if I were to be elected Mayor. I had no hesitation in telling her I would cancel the 2012 Olympics (does anyone really want them?) and spend the money on alienating a load of property owners by opening up the rivers again. Oh yes and by making the city vegetarian and it obligatory for everyone who lives here to record their dreams everyday. Ok, so my friend was a wild goose on the Thames foreshore but personally I think this would have a very remarkable and positive effect on us all.

I have been seeing Valentine again. Like Philemon, he has seemed at times to be a somewhat imaginary friend but nevertheless, like the rivers, constant.

To all friends - real or imagined - who have read this blog and listened, watched or commented over the years, much appreciation.

Here's to another four..

12 comments:

spillyjane said...

Happy 4th (oh, I loathe the word but I'll say it anyway,) blogiversary. I've only lately started following your writings but I'm enjoying them immensely.

clerkenwell kid said...

Cheers SJ

As a footnote, I heard on the radio only today that the Shaftesbury Theater - current home to the splendid 'Hairspray' musical - is troubled by an underground stream - a clear case of "WATERS MEETS WALTERS"

Dan said...

As a long time fan of your music, follower of the blog and an explorer of subterranean London, I just wanted to say thanks.

I assume you are aware of the Paris Cataphiles?

clerkenwell kid said...

I didn't Dan - thanks - very interesting too!

sally said...
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Anonymous said...

Congrats on your blogging anniversary, and may you -- and all of us -- have many more years ahead (hopefully more than just four)!

I never knew a goose, but I do know of a certain "Swan" who would happily convert to vegetarianism, provided that there are some pretty convincing veggie burgers around at all times.

sally said...
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clerkenwell kid said...

i always liked that swan

Anne said...

It's been four years already? Time sure flies when one is having a good, good time. Thank you for that.

clerkenwell kid said...

it's been a pleasure anne

John said...

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Requiem said...

Hello again, Mr. Coates! I have a couple of things that might interest you. First, a bit of music.

http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#Belmont%27s%20lounge

Cygnus and I are very nerdy in that we love video game soundtracks. The song I'm sharing with you is a remix someone did of a few of my favorite tracks from the game Castlevania. I'm sure you'll know why I saw fit to share it with you when you hear it!

As for our beloved swan, he is still around, though he has become increasingly shy and apprehensive. I would love nothing more than to see him post here again, particularly because he has shown me a few pictures that you simply must see. Let's just say that if you ever wanted to find yourself a live action Crooner, you'll know who to call...